Counter Terrorism

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (14:36): I thank the member for the very important question and know that the member for MacKillop, I hope like everyone in this place, is very keen to keep our entire community as safe as possible. In the wake of the terrible tragedies in Christchurch and Sri Lanka in recent weeks, it has highlighted the potential of terrorist ideology and extremism in our communities and the danger that is associated with that. We join with other nations around the world in condemning the actions that we have seen from extremists.

The Marshall government has been focused on counterterrorism policies since before the March 2018 election. We took a firm commitment to the people of South Australia over 12 months ago not only to focus on keeping South Australia safe in the immediate term but also to commit to safeguarding against the evolving threat of terrorism. Part of that commitment involved preventing radicalisation in our prisons.

We are investing in the safety and security of our prisons through our Better Prisons infrastructure projects, and the Department for Correctional Services is working hard on our election commitment to prevent radicalisation in prisons. We are delivering a better prison service. It is a commitment we made, it is something we are delivering and it is what the South Australian people voted for—better services from our government.

The Marshall government is continuing to progress the development of the government's counterterrorism action plan. SAPOL has undertaken a vulnerability assessment of public places and events. We provide a greater certainty for police in the use of lethal force, thanks to the Attorney-General's bill that was passed in June last year—the Terrorism (Police Powers) (Use of Force) Amendment Bill—and additional training for security guards, with SAPOL providing security briefing and awareness packages to the security industry through Project Griffin, an internationally recognised partnership between SAPOL, the private security industry and other relevant stakeholders, such as event managers at different venues.

This committee is focused on multi-agency collaboration and information sharing to ensure we have a consistent and coordinated response to any threats in our community. We are working closely with our federal counterparts to ensure that a best practice approach in line with national standards is achieved.

There are many different types of violent extremism, and the motivations of those engaged in violent extremist acts vary, including but not limited to political or religious ideology and/or economic, social and environmental causes. The Marshall government is committed to working with agencies and departments to ensure that they are able to prevent, detect and disrupt radicalisation to violence in all its forms.

The government was very pleased to see the Morrison Liberal government's commitment to additional funding to keep our communities safe in this year's federal budget, with the investment of $52.8 million in the Safer Communities Fund, $513 million over five years to the Australian Federal Police to enhance its counterterrorism activities and community policing services and $58.6 million for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to enhance its operations.

Outpourings of support for the victims and the people of all ages, cultural backgrounds and political groups have touched all of us and have strengthened our resolve against the alleged offenders' abhorrent motives for such crimes that we have seen recently. The government, in cooperation with the experts, will continue to remain focused on countering any and all threats whenever and wherever they may arise.

Authorised by Corey Wingard MP, Member for Gibson. Level 2, 1 Milham Street Oaklands Park SA 5046. ©Copyright / Legal / Login